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Mushroom Growing: Substrate

April 8, 2023

Mushroom Growing: Substrate

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Creating a nutrition mix for use in mushroom growing

The first big step for growing your own mushrooms is creating a good place for your mushrooms to grow. This is the second in a series of articles that I am writing in collaboration with Mushroom Growing 4 You, who have a full and in depth guide that you can access Here.

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If you’re just going in for mushroom growing as a hobby, it’s possible to grow them on a log. However, just as with any other organism, plant or animal, mushrooms will grow much better if you offer them the right nutritive mix. Just how to go about preparing that mix is what this article is all about.

Why Make Your Own Mushroom Growing Mix?

There are several reasons why you might want to make your own nutritive mix. For one thing, there’s the cost of buying readymade mixes. Making your own nutritive mix is fairly simple, and by doing so, you may avoid much of the cost normally connected with growing mushrooms yourself. Of course, making your own mix will take a little effort, but the results are well worth it. A good nutritive mix for mushrooms is usually made from cow or horse manure. This cannot be used directly, as you would when fertilizing plants, but must be prepared and matured by a special process if you want to use it successfully for mushroom growing.

You start by taking a large enough quantity of equal parts of straw and any good kind of manure. You need to mix these well, until they form a thoroughly homogeneous mix. While mixing them, you need to keep adding in sprinklings of gypsum. Keep mixing this for about half an hour, then take a piece of sacking and cover the mixture carefully. You will find that the mixture will exhibit a steady rise in temperature that you must carefully observe. Wait until it reaches a hundred and sixty degrees F before attempting anything further.

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The moment the temperature reaches a hundred and sixty degrees F you can go to the next stage. It involves removing the sacking. Mix everything well and remember to spray on lots of water while doing it. This will cause an immediate fall in temperature. When everything is well mixed again put the sacking back on and wet it nicely.

When is it Ready to Use?

The process I’ve just described might have to be repeated quite a few times before the manure is ready for use. How will you know that it’s ready? At first the mixture will have a sticky appearance. But as you process it again and again, this sticky look will give way to a flaky appearance. When the pile looks this way, it means that the medium is ready for use. After this, it’s just a question of placing the nutrient mix into the right kind of container. Something flat and wide would be ideal for mushroom growing.

For your very own complete guide to growing your own mushrooms, check out Mushroom Growing 4 You and get started on your Mushroom Adventure!


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